May 2020

Times of Cloud – The Paris Review Podcast

This is the first episode of the Paris Review podcast and to be honest I would recommend listening to all of them. The podcast brings together readings of poetry and prose and tape (sometimes reenactments) of interviews from the Review’s enviable archive.

This episode features a delightful interview with Maya Angelou interviewed by George Plimpton, who opens with: You once told me that you write lying on a made-up bed with a bottle of sherry, a dictionary, Roget’s Thesaurus, yellow pads, an ashtray, and a Bible. What’s the function of the Bible?

And Wallace Shawn reading “Car-Crash while Hitchhiking”, a mind-bending story by Denis Johnson.

Bonsai – Ochenta Stories

This podcast is from Studio Ochenta, a Paris-based outfit that specialises in multi-lingual storytelling. Ochenta Stories is a series of short fiction stories/mini-docs/audio art from quarantine. (Yes more multilingual podcasts please!)

This episode, presented first in Italian and then in English, is about one mans’s troubled relationship with his bonsai plant. I speak a bit of Italian but not enough to understand the story in Italian. Nevertheless, as with all episodes from this show, I find it really enjoyable to listen to languages other than my native tongue.

Punk in a Pandemic – Mike Williams and Friends

Mike Williams, ace storyteller and all round great guy, has embarked on an ambitious indie endeavour to publish three episodes a week of this new show. Each episode features a phonecall with a random Facebook friend. I have my suspicions about just how randomly they are selected.

Punk in a Pandemic tells the hilarious story of ‘Fucking Carnage’, a punk band started in a Toronto sharehouse in the height of Covid lockdown.

A wine night with friends in May – covid style!